March 16, 2012

Famous for Nothing

"Christof Wallner, 23, from Austria, the first buyer of the new iPad in Germany, poses after purchasing the tablet in front of the Apple store in Munich, March 16, 2012. Apple's new iPad went on a sale in Germany on Friday and more than 500 people waited on the line to purchase the new device in front of the shop prior to its opening." -- Waiting to score the newest iPad from Apple

To update Andy Warhol, "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 nanoseconds for doing nothing." And indeed they are.

Above we see an all too typical moment where the largest company in history in terms of perceived market value is celebrated by having a skinny chestless European male of dubious sexuality emerge from a doorway holding a mass-market object above his head in a gesture of triumph. Such photos were previously spread throughout the world as the result of some sort of measurable genuine achievement. Now it would seem you are awarded global recognition for just showing up very, very early with about $500 in your pocket. Color me massively unimpressed.

What I am marginally impressed by is that although this is happening in Munich, today's photo editors seem to be blissfully unaware of the subtext seen in the upraised saluting hands on the right. Oh well, so it goes. You can't expect a people whose grand-parents and great grandparents ended up burned to ash by Brits and Americans and gang-raped by Russians to retain my interest in history.

We've been seeing these "nerds line-up early for tech goodies and nerd myths" stories for decades now. I think the first "newsworthy" stories centered around early line-squatters for "Star Wars," but they surely have lost their allure by this point. And they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, "news." Indeed, the only time they seem to become news is when people are beaten and/or killed during the line-up and subsequent swarming. That of course usually has to do with toys or shoes. If all you want to do is note that a nerd swiped his card and entered his PIN and got a box first, please pass the coke spoon and hold the Sominex.

If Nike's newest sneaker is causing dropping bodies at the mall, that's news. As for the newest nerd-swarm over a techtoy, wake me when they start setting themselves on fire as the doors open.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 16, 2012 8:08 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Imagine, in the year 2027, when the still chestless Christof has sex for the first time. With a robot. Made by Apple. Yeeeaaahhhhhhh….

Posted by: tim at March 16, 2012 9:25 AM

Is it any wonder that the euroweenies are such?

All the best of the euro gene pool were killed off in the course of two world wars (and in the case of the Spanish, their civil war). I don't count the "neutral" Swiss (if by neutral, you mean happy to receive and launder all the stolen Jewish wealth that the Nazis could plunder)...The Swiss, although plenty well-armed on the individual level, have not made much of a 'manly' impact on European history.

Watchmakers, bankers, and train schedule-keepers.

Posted by: Uncle Jefe at March 16, 2012 9:42 AM

This is one of your best commentaries ever!!

It also helps us understand why a person like Romney is not generating any "excitement" among the electorate and why a fraud like Obama got elected President. The cult of celebrity, graphically illustrated by the upraised right hands in the photo, got started by the new media that supported Hitler. Today the same media continue unabated and uncriticized.

Posted by: Gloria at March 16, 2012 10:34 AM

There are consequences to everything, so I don't really subscribe to handwringing. It did make me think of this though:

Posted by: Casca at March 16, 2012 12:40 PM

I see the universe, and it is good.

Young, interesting and interested, with concern (true empathy as far's I can see) but also gratitude and, yes, hope.

What a grand, glorious sight. No doubt inspiring future legends this very moment somehow.

How could one think of other things, crude and tasteless (like Ted Kennedy's last bowel movement, of the brownish kind) with the universe in mind?

Yes, it's confirmed: There is no time to waste on the swinish, not for us and our ever expanding universe.

Posted by: notquiteunBuckley at March 16, 2012 5:42 PM

I would look like that if I $500 in my pocket.

(No, perhaps not just like that; but you know what I mean....)

Posted by: Gray at March 16, 2012 9:01 PM

I dispute the "best Europeans were killed inna wars" hypothesis:

Geez, like a conclave of male models with guns.

Posted by: Gray at March 16, 2012 9:06 PM